- Associated Press - Monday, March 21, 2016

WASHINGTON (AP) - A spokesman for the National Park Service says the expected bloom dates for the cherry trees around the Tidal Basin in Washington were not affected by this weekend’s cold weather.

Spokesman Mike Litterst said in a statement Monday that the forecast snow never materialized at the Tidal Basin and temperatures stayed well above freezing. Litterst says Monday night’s forecast is for near-freezing temperatures, but the peak bloom period is still expected to begin on or about Wednesday.

Peak bloom means at least 70 percent of the trees around the Tidal Basin are blossoming. Once peak bloom is reached, the blossoms can remain on the trees for four to 10 days.

The opening ceremony for the National Cherry Blossom Festival is set for Saturday at the Warner Theatre.

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